Running An Indie Game Studio, Loot Boxes, AR, Markiplier, and Producers


Manage episode 233277719 series 2477672
By Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio streamed directly from their servers.


Tom Eastman and Ben Perez from Trinket Studios talk about going to school and getting started in the game industry. Learn their insights from launching a successful indie game and the challenges of running an independent studio for 7 years. Hear their advice about college and how best to prepare for a career, along with how to further your current career. Learn about their favorite projects and working in early development for the Xbox Kinect. Hear discussion about streaming consoles, ideas on how to make AR successful, and challenges on Steam. Hear concerns about loot boxes and the gambling aspects of microtransactions targeting young players. How being at a gaming convention in Indianapolis with Markiplier didn’t go as planned. Learn about how they grown to respect the role of production in game development. Hear a funny story about adding content not planned and learning the perspective on a game’s schedule. Learn about the use of the Fibonacci sequence and planning poker in game development.


*”I’m really just a programmer that has to deal with the most Twitter and taxes.”

*”I’d narrowed it down to astronaut, Major League Soccer Player, or game developer.”

*”We’d gotten a lot of advice and I thought we were prepared to start an indie company and do everything ourselves, but we still weren’t prepared for burnout.”

*”Even if the advice seems true at the time it’s really hard to put into practice without having lived through it.”

*”The game’s industry is this crazy beast you have to tame yourself.”

*”You also have to be worried about, “where will I be in 5 years, what will my priorities be?””

*”There’s a couple of really important things we see all the time with indies that we somehow dodged.”

*”Making a great game is like half of the equation.”

*”I would caution people specifically looking to get a degree in “game development.””

*”There was that flashpoint where everyone was doing it.”

*”I really thought, “I’ve got this figured out, I know how to make a game.””

*”I need to be careful if my response is from producer Tom, or designer Tom, or programmer Tom.

About My Guests:

Tom Eastman started pursuing a career in the video game industry from a young age. During high school he created a series of mediocre games and failed to sell any online. Tom studied Computer Science at Dartmouth College while interning at Garage Games and Wideload Games. Shortly after joining Wideload Games full-time, they were acquired by Disney. Tom lasted three years in that environment before leaving with Ben and Eric to form Trinket Studios. He’s particularly proud of his work on Guilty Party, Color Sheep, and Battle Chef Brigade.

Ben Perez’s obsession with video games and computers began at the age of 5 when he was introduced to Super Mario Bros. on the NES. His parents are fond of recalling that he wasn’t able to get over the first pipe, but suffice it to say that Ben didn’t let that hurdle stop him! Ben pursued his passion through college and obtained a B.S. in Computer Game Development from DePaul University. In his senior year, Ben became an intern and eventually a full-time programmer at Wideload Studios, where he worked on Guilty Party and Avengers Initiative.


*Trinket Studios website

*Trinket Studios Twitter

*Battle Chef Brigade website

*Battle Chef Brigade Twitter

*Alex Seropian Wikipedia

*Patrick Curry website

*Guilty Party the game

*Breaking The Wheel by Justin Fischer

*Indie City Co-Op website

*Xbox Kinect Wikipedia

*Bill to ban loot boxes Kotaku

*Markiplier YouTube

*Slay the Spire Steam

*Kanban development Wikipedia

*Planning poker Wikipedia

*Jira Software by Atlassian website

*Level Ex Video Games for Doctors website

*Game Dev Advice Twitter

*Game Dev Advice email

*Game Dev Advice website

*Game Dev Advice Hotline at (224) 484-7733

*And thanks to Charles Dike Production podcast editing

*Don't forget to subscribe and go to

12 episodes available. A new episode about every 10 days averaging 45 mins duration .